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The New German Government and the Moral-Historical Dimension of Czech-German Relations


During both occasions of the 1st anniversary of the German Grand
Coalition government CDU/CSU and SPD (2005/2006) and of the 10th
anniversary of the Czech-German Declaration on reconciliation (1997) the
author analysis the recent German foreign policy, especially the role of past
burdens in the bilateral relations. Gradually, although they faced many
complications, both a legal and political solution was found, and instilled,
creating a prevision for, and to a certain degree institutionalizing "the
culture of historical controversy". The rhetoric of historical guilt and
responsibility slowly disappears in Germany's relationships to the states of
Central and East Central Europe, it relates also to the reconciliation rituals.
On the other hand the new German government (with the CDUchancellorship) has accepted all declarations and treaties made by
preceding governments, including those which deal with property issues
between the F.R.G. and Poland/Czech Republics respectively. The main dash
is not drawn between any single political camps; rather nowadays, it is
drawn right across the German society and their political elites. Especially
the topic of World War II and its victims has become a conventional subject
and one of public historical memory. This appeared shortly after the new
government was appointed into office, as well as the idea that the moralhistorical dimension of the Czech-German, Polish-German (and any other
neighbors to Germany) relations will not disappear, but instead achieve a
new quality. Only the role of moderator will be given to the governments
and to the political sphere. Parallel to the departure of the last generation
of contemporaries, the theme will be changed, and there will be only one of
many reference frameworks in German relations to its neighbor states and
their societies. This will, however, not be a linear process: relapsing is not
excluded and it will depend on the responsibility and maturity of the
political elites as well as the quality of the Czech-German "community of
interests" (including the constituting role of European Security and Energy
policies), as to how they will be managed.


German Foreign Policy after the Election 2005, Czech-German Relations, Czech-Bavarian Relations, Czech-Saxonian Relations, Public Culture of the Historical Memory, The Role and Identity of the Organizations of German Refugees

PDF Consultation (Czech)